The protests against two liquor shops in Govindpuram and Daulatpura in Ghaziabad continued on Tuesday, leaving excise officials at a loss regarding ways to pacify the agitators.
The residents of Daulatpura have been protesting against the liquor vend in their area for a week now while the protests in Govindpuram entered into its third day on Tuesday.
The agitators have demanded that the liquor shops be relocated out of residential areas as they pose ‘issues’ for families, women and even youngsters.
Angry residents have been staging protest infront of the model liquor shop in Govindpuram A-block and have forced it shut.
“Since this shop opened, I have had to vacate my house and shift to take up another place on rent. The liquor vend is in close proximity to residential houses, a temple and a school. We have been protesting against it for a long time. Now, we are optimistic that the new government under CM Yogi Adityanath will listen to our woes,” said Nisha Goel, a resident.
Women protesters of Govindpuram said they felt insecure from customers who visited the liquor shop in large numbers during daytime and in the evenings.
“They indulge in consumption of alcohol outside our houses. Women and families cannot move out. Some people can even be seen consuming liquor in glasses inside a nearby ATM. Women are often subjected to lewd remarks by these men,” said another resident, Manju Teotia.
The residents said that youngsters visited the liquor shop in the evening and can often be seen driving their bikes at high speeds.
“People drink inside cars which are parked outside our houses. One can also spot men urinating out in the open later. We cannot get into an altercation with them everyday. Since there has been a change in regime, we expect the state government to look into our issues now,” sad Shashi Teotia, a resident.
Owners of nearby areas also said they often shut shops by 5pm as people in large number start flocking the liquor vend in the evening.
Residents of Daulatpur echoed similar woes and said they felt aggrieved by the social implications of a countrymade liquor shop running in their locality. Dozens of residents continued their sit-in protest outside the liquor shop on Tuesday.
Officials of the district excise department said that the shops were given license as per norms. They added that the model shop at Govindpuram was located in a market complex.
“We have held many meetings with the locals at the two locations but they have refused to budge and have not allowed the opening of the shops. One liquor shop was vandalised on Monday at a locality under Masuri police station. We will hold more meetings to persuade the protesters,” said Karunendra Singh, district excise officer.